What is it that inspires our desire to create?

What moves an artist to draw or to paint a picture? What sparks the passion in a writer to pen a poem or a story? What is it that prompts a photographer to run for her camera and try to capture that perfect shot?

Here are a few things that give me continued inspiration:

1.  The ocean, which surrounds me… (No surprise there, right? 😉 )

092 (1024x509)Every day, it is a slightly different colour, morphing between shades of blue sapphire, steel grey, or deep, dark navy with racing waves and frothy white-caps. On other days, it is as calm and flat as a mirror.052 (1024x683)The sea is a living thing: mercurial, organic, merciless, and endlessly beautiful.035 (1024x461) 2.  I’ve always had a passion for all animals (no, not just my cats! 😉 ).
Horses, dogs, whales, and birds…102 (1024x683) …natural beings of the forest and untamed creatures of the sea and sky.058 (1024x683)

3.  My granddaughter inspires me with her sunny smile, her boundless energy and curiosity, and her sweet innocent, loving heart.

036 (1024x861) 4.  My grandson inspires me with those impossibly long eyelashes, his sense of humour, his quick wit, and his infectious laughter (even when he teases his crinkly Nanny).037 (1024x902) 5.  Teaching children about Nature, and why we need to respect it, appreciate it and care for it is a spark for my imagination. I love answering their many questions…055 (1024x683)… and listening to them tell of their own experiences in the beautiful, natural world.


Have you ever noticed how Children and Nature go so happily together?064 (1024x683)

“Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them.”
~ Audubon Nature Preschool061 (1024x683)

“As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us..”
~ Valerie Andrews, A Passion for this Earth

Do you have special childhood memories of exploring Nature?

What fills you with inspiration? Do tell!

Meowy Christmas :)


Happy Christmas Eve, everyone! Vivian K. Perry here, filling in for Jennifer today because she is in town celebrating the holidays in the bosom of her family.

Maisie and I are hanging out at home with our early Christmas presents, two new cat beds! We are thrilled with how cozy they are, and Jennifer was thrilled because they were only ten bucks a pop from Sears catalogue.



In keeping with the spirit of the season, please have a look at Maisie’s Christmas photo shoot below.













Happy holidays!


Travel Theme: Foliage (and Other Living Things)

Trees and their foliage are, without a doubt, some of Nature’s most wondrous treasures.

But sometimes, the best photograph of a tree is not as much about the tree itself, but what is found in and among its foliage and branches.

Like in this photo I snapped in Varadero, Cuba, you may see tiny birds:

…two “love birds”, perhaps?

Or you might happen upon a couple of sister cats exploring among the leaves:

Paradise backyard, Newfoundland

And if you see a magnificent tree such as this one day, don’t be surprised to find little children playing among its sturdy limbs:

Bowring Park, St. John’s, Newfoundland

This has been my contribution to’s weekly Travel Theme.
This week: Foliage

Thank you for the inspiration, Ailsa!

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Guest Post: Vivian’s View From Here

I am happy to introduce a guest blogger on Jennifer’s Journal this week.  Please welcome Vivian K. Perry, a very dear friend of mine who also happens to be, um, feline.

Greetings, humans!  I am thrilled to be given this opportunity today on WordPress to share some photos, and a few things about myself.

To be honest,  I think Jennifer is allowing me to host today to make up for shrieking at me last week, when I brought a mouse in the house.  It was a gift, after all, so instead of screaming bloody (mousey) murder, shouldn’t she have been grateful to receive a trophy of my hunting prowess?  Especially since I brought it home to her, and dropped it in the hallway – STILL ALIVE?  You try to do something nice, but you are only misunderstood…

Actually, I enjoy a lovely life here with Jennifer, her husband, and my sister and womb-mate, Maisie.

Up until two summers ago, we all lived in the city.  It was okay, but my sister and I were not allowed outside by ourselves because of all the traffic in our neighbourhood, and the danger to us that it entailed.  So when we moved to the country, imagine our delight to be free to explore the great outdoors!

We can now come and go as we please, chase birds, butterflies and rodents, and savour the lifestyle we had only dreamed about in our former life.

Just last month, Maisie and I celebrated our fifth birthday.  Here is what we looked like when we were adopted from the SPCA:

Gosh, I was cute..

Even though we are sisters, Maisie and I are different in many ways.  (Some people don’t know that kittens from the same litter can have different fathers;  did you?  I think that is what happened with us.)  Maisie is smaller, and very much on the quiet side…

…while I am larger, quite vocal and in-your-face.

I am truly a Social Animal who adores human relationships and have been known to be exceedingly dog-like.  I’ll follow you, talk to you, keep you company, sleep with you, and never, ever let you get lonely.

In fact, the other day, I went next door to visit our neighbour Ben.  I simply walked in, meowed at everyone, ventured upstairs, and enjoyed a nap on his bed.  No invitation necessary!

Many people think that a cat is a cat is a cat.  But I’m here today to dispel that assumption.  I am not aloof.  I don’t scratch, bite or hiss at people.  I can be very friendly with just about anyone.

And even though I do catch mice, and perhaps meow a little too loudly, I am as loyal and loving as any dog.

Just ask Jennifer.

* This blog post was since selected for publication in BBooks – Blog Books, an online magazine!  Check out the link found in the comments below.  🙂

Are You an “Animal Racist”?

Disclaimer:  the following rant is in no way intended to minimize or satirize the very serious issue of racism in our world today.  It was conceived with tongue firmly in cheek and for entertainment purposes only… sort of.


Are you tired of hearing countless dog lovers dissing cats as a matter of course?  Have you grown weary, as I have, of people professing to be proud animal owners, and yet they sh*t on the existence of my beloved pets?  I swear, if I hear one more dog owner claiming that dogs are the superior pet, I’m going to start the meanest cat-fight you have ever witnessed.


Don’t get me wrong.  I love dogs.  I adore dogs.  I have owned dogs myself in the past, but right now my life is more suited for the feline variety of pets, due in part to their low maintenance, but also because of the compatibility of our personalities.  We are quiet, for the most part, and slightly aloof.  We are independent.  We keep ourselves clean.  And we love each other unconditionally, and pine for each other when we’re apart.  ( But I’m getting off track here with my cat love.  I am head over heels about horses too, but can in no way accommodate one in my life at this time either.)

Even media personalities are hopping on the “dogs and dog-people are best” bandwagon, spouting their prejudices like it’s something to be proud of.  But folks, just because your opinion is popular doesn’t make it right.  It makes you sound like you have succumbed to a form of speciesism.  Besides, you hardly ever hear cat owners/lovers badmouthing dogs, the way so many dog owners/lovers badmouth cats.


Where is the tolerance?  What happened to the idea of Live and Let Live?  Can we not embrace all animals for their individuality and wonderfulness?  I’ll even go out on a limb here and say it is comparable to the ignorance of a person saying he loves mankind, but in no way can he tolerate foreigners.  It just doesn’t make any sense, like so many other kinds of prejudice ( and don’t get me started on that).

Can we not all embrace each other for our differences and uniqueness, and just get along?


What Inspires Me

Babies. Newborns, four-month-olds, six-month-olds, toddlers…but before they are swallowed up by the children they become. I love their newness, their freshness, their tiny hands and feet, the downy skin and clear blue eyes. And their helplessness and need for your care. My little grandson Joshua (and his mom and dad!) gave me that gift, the gift of being needed at the most basic level, at a time when I thought those days were behind me. Feeding him, rocking him, singing a lullaby. Must be my maternal side showing..

Leah…my beautiful granddaughter Leah. Her sunny smile, her boundless energy, her sweet, loving heart. The way she shares her thoughts so succinctly, but then her sudden shyness when she meets someone new (I know where that comes from!). Her innocent, yet beguiling charm.

The ocean. My new backyard…no, much more than that; it surrounds me! Every day I look out, it is a slightly different colour; morphing between shades of electric blue sapphire, or steel grey, or deep, dark, ominous navy with frothy white-caps. The sea is like a living thing, mercurial, organic, merciless. And endlessly beautiful.

Animals…and not just my cats. Horses, dogs, whales, birds, wild beings in the forest. Creatures of the sea and sky.

Conversation and dialogue, a monologue, poetry, words… talk shows, interviews, journals, diaries, songs! Slightly different shades of meaning expressed by employing a different word, an inflection, a facial expression, an innermost thought, a lyric or a verse.

Love. All kinds: a mother’s love, friend love, passionate, head-over-heels in love, idolatry, paternal love, mentor love, unrequited love. A grandparent’s love! Love for a pet. Perhaps most importantly, love of Self.

Order. I like when life has a plan, a logical sequence, a symmetry, even when there doesn’t seem to be any apparent sense to it (the challenge and reward is in the discovery of meaning where you thought there was none). On a simpler level, I love neatness and polish of style, whether it be fashion, decorating, or artistic expression.

Work. Ordinary ol’ hard work, the only way to get anything done. The idea of purpose and direction in your life, and not just something you do for yourself but for everyone around you. Getting in there and rolling up your sleeves, getting good and dirty, immersing yourself in a job for no other reason than it just feels good to do so.

The joy of cooking. The planning, the preparation, and the patience required to turn out a delicious meal. Excellent therapy for giving you focus. It can also teach you how to be more resourceful with what is on hand. All you need is inspiration, imagination, and a few dozen cookbooks!

Music. All kinds of music that is good. This includes anything that makes you want to dance and sing, no matter how silly a ditty it is. Food for the soul and spirit.

Tales of the sea. Shipwrecks, near tragedies, heroism by ordinary mortals in extraordinary circumstances. Stories of Newfoundlanders who overcame hardship as they tried to eke out a living from the sea.

Heroism in everyday life: a man who gives of himself generously to those in need, with no thought of recompense; a person coming to the rescue of someone in great emotional pain; the woman who raises a family without a father in the picture (and does it well); the bravery of someone battling an illness or condition; dying with dignity.

Books…old, dusty tomes with dog-eared pages, brand new paperbacks, the smell of ink inside, stories written before I was born, colourful, well-written fiction of today, non-fiction that inspires while it helps explain the world and our place in it. I was a devout bookworm growing up; my best friends lived inside the pages, and I hated saying good-bye to them at the end. Racing to finish that book you can’t put down, savouring every word, but hating its completion. I would love to write a book like that. That is my goal.